The electric bike battery is arguably one of the most important features of your e-bike. It provides your electric bike with extra power, assists handling, frame design, and weight, and determines the range.
Even though the manufacturer designs an electric bike battery to help you travel thousands of miles effortlessly, like everything else on your e-bike’s frame, the battery faces wear and tear, and so it has to be replaced eventually.
Whether your electric bike has recently been in an accident that has damaged its battery, or, you are looking for a new electric bike battery that provides a better charge range, or the old battery doesn’t hold its charge anymore, the only viable solution is to get your e-bike’s battery replaced.
One common mistake that e-bikers make at this point is that they believe that they can throw out the old battery and replace it with any type of battery that seemingly fits.
However, little do they know that every electric bike battery has different requirements and specifications. So until and unless you are swapping the battery with the right one, there’s a high chance that the wrong battery might end up deteriorating the e-bike’s overall performance. Read on to find the answer to the question “Are electric bike batteries interchangeable” or not!
Why Doesn’t Your Electric Bike Battery Work Like It Used To?
The use of a rechargeable electric bike battery is a brilliant idea. They hold a charge for a long time and don’t need to be replaced as frequently as disposable batteries. Rechargeable batteries are primarily made possible using a lithium-based design, which is simple to manufacture while cost-effective.
However, one disadvantage of lithium-ion batteries is that their overall charge capacity diminishes after each charge cycle.
Understanding this link is vital to know how to charge your electric bike battery properly. The energy capacity of your e-bike’s battery decreases with each charge cycle, even if you use optimal charging practices.
The good news is that lithium-ion batteries are built to minimize capacity loss, so you may charge your battery 800 to 1,000 times and still have 80 to 90% of its original capacity.
For the average electric bike rider, this means that an electric bike battery will last two to three years, or perhaps longer before it needs to be replaced. However, eventually, you’ll need to replace your batteries at some point, especially if you’ve exceeded the manufacturer’s recommended cycle limit.
Are Electric Bike Batteries Interchangeable?
The one-word answer to the question “Are electric bike batteries interchangeable” is “No.” Different types of lithium-ion e-bike batteries comprise unique specifications. This means that they might differ in energy/watt-hours (Wh), capacity (Ah), voltage (V), weight, and size.
Another important thing here is to understand that Total Watt-hours = Amp-hours x Voltage, meaning that an electric bike battery with a different amount of amps or volts will produce completely different Watt-hours.
Moreover, the amp-hours and volts shouldn’t only match the total wattage of the electric bike but should be compatible with the battery’s charger.
For instance, a 36V lithium-ion battery might be slightly smaller and lighter than a 48V one. But even if both have the same amp-hours, ultimately, the Watt-hours produced will be totally different. This can cause the electric bike battery to overload and might also damage the hub motor.
According to the e-bike manufacturers and experts, you should only replace the old electric bike battery with the one that has the exact specifications and comes from the same manufacturer.
The primary reason here is that the manufacturer kit has the responsibility to make sure that the charger, electric bike battery pack, and the e-bike all work together cohesively. On the other hand, using a non-original electric bike battery will introduce uncontrollable risks and increase the chances of malfunction.
Another thing to remember here is that you should always try to use the charger from the original manufacturer. It will ensure fast charging but will perfectly sync up with the electric bike battery without overloading it.
Can You Use Any Electric Bike Battery for an E-Bike?
While you might believe that all-electric bike batteries are the same and that you can incorporate any battery in your electric bike if it fits, do not make that mistake.
In order to be compatible, an electric bike battery requires a specific amps/capacity (Ah), voltage (V), weight, and size. In simpler words, you cannot put a 36-Volt battery on an electric bike built for a 48-Volt one.
Failure to install the right e-bike battery can result in causing permanent damage to the battery itself, the electric bike’s ride quality and performance, and even the rider.
Therefore, when planning to interchange the electric bike battery, the first thing that you should do is check for its compatibility. To help you understand better, here is a list of reasons why e-bike batteries aren’t universal:
1. E-Bikes Have Different Battery Management Systems
When it comes to electric bikes, BMS (Battery Management System) is a complicated subject. The function of the battery management system is to control the energy output from the electric bike battery to the e-bike’s system.
Even if the electric bike battery has the same watt output as your e-bike, there’s a high chance that the BMS might cause the energy to follow differently because of the difference in electric bike design.
Therefore, it is recommended to stick with the same electric bike battery brand when replacing or upgrading your e-bike’s original battery. This is the only way to ensure that the electric bike battery you are investing in is compatible with the e-bike’s BMS.
2. The Electric Bike Battery Doesn’t Fit as You’d Expect
In case the interchangeable electric bike battery does not fit the battery holder or mount of the e-bike’s frame, it’s an obvious indicator that the two aren’t compatible.
But did you know that despite the awareness, even today, many bikers try to force the battery by making modifications to the frame of their electric bike? Even though most of them somehow manage to get the electric bike battery attached to the frame, if it is not the right one, it won’t function as expected.
Therefore, regardless of what the situation demands, never force-fit an electric bike battery into the e-bike’s frame.
3. The Electric Bike Battery Overwhelms the Motor
This is what gets e-bikers into problems most of the time. Many electric bike owners will purchase a compatible electric bike battery that might fit their e-bike, only to discover that the battery is too powerful for the electrical system.
This is usually due to the installation of a battery with a higher energy capacity than what the electric bike was designed for. As a result, the excess power overwhelms the e-bike’s motor and other electrical components.
While many electric bike models will operate with a larger battery, be sure you pick one that the manufacturer has tested to work with your e-bike’s model, so you don’t risk damaging the frame or the electric bike battery.
Note that installing an interchangeable electric bike battery that doesn’t come from the original manufacturer might void the warranty of your e-bike.
Therefore, before making a decision, always check with the electric bike company to understand their policy regarding the aftermath of using replacement e-bike batteries.
Where Should You Go to Get an Interchangeable Electric Bike Battery?
Are you looking for a new electric bike battery? Here are three case scenarios to help you out in finding the right interchangeable electric bike battery for your e-bike:
1. Contact the Original Retailer
Is your e-bike battery malfunctioning? The best and safest decision is to purchase the new interchangeable electric bike battery from the manufacturer (original retailer).
In case you have bought your electric bike from a local dealer, contacting them should be the first thing that you do. If the dealer doesn’t answer, take out the owner’s manual and get in touch with the manufacturers as soon as possible.
2. What If the Original E-Bike Batteries Are No Longer Available?
In case the original brand electric bike battery isn’t available, instead of deciding for yourself, try contacting the dealer to find a reliable and compatible replacement.
Make sure that it belongs to a reputable company and has the exact specifications of your old electric bike battery.
3. What If the Original Manufacturer Is No Longer in Business?
In such a case, visit the electric bike’s manufacturer’s website or give them a call to find an identical source of interchangeable e-bike batteries.
If you are unable to get in touch with the original manufacturer, visit a reliable dealer and ask them for their suggestion.
In short, regardless of what the situation is when buying an interchangeable electric bike battery, never take the decision until you are fully sure of it.
How Would You Know If You Have a Compatible Electric Bike Battery?
Once you’ve chosen and purchased an electric bike from a manufacturer or brand, don’t assume your connection with them is over.
Mostly, we’ve had excellent experiences with dozens of e-bike manufacturers, all working hard to promote their brand and encourage bikers all over the world to go all-electric.
As a result, most electric bike manufacturers have support teams who are eager to assist consumers in better understanding the needs of their e-bikes, including which batteries are compatible with specific models.
Recognizing that customers would ultimately need to change their batteries, several electric bike manufacturers provide official battery replacements and upgrades that have been tested to work with their models. In case you have any doubts, the first thing you should do is contact the electric bike manufacturer.
Wrapping It Up!
Being the sole source of power, traveling far and fast on your electric bike is greatly dependent upon the performance of the electric bike battery. Investing in an interchangeable e-bike battery can make or break your bike riding experience.
Upgrading your electric bike’s battery will be one of the most important decisions that you make. By choosing the right e-bike battery, you can expect a better traveling range, and it can help you travel farther at a higher speed without having to recharge every now and then.
Furthermore, if your original electric bike battery is in good condition, do not throw it out. Instead, keep it as a backup when going on longer trips. As long as you are swapping with the proper replacement battery, your electric bike will be good to go for years to come.
Electric Bike Battery | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Ans: Replacing a standard electric bike battery will cost you somewhere between $200 and $1000, depending on the specifications, capacity, and type. A high-quality lithium-ion electric bike battery will cost you a minimum of $500. Comparatively, low-brand batteries can cost you as low as $200.
Ans: You can only interchange e-bike batteries if they belong to the same make and model of the electric bike. Even though some e-bike motor systems can be swapped with smaller or larger capacity e-bike batteries, the style of the battery (integrated or external) must be the same.
Ans: Every electric bike battery comes with a different warranty. For example, Yamaha and Bosch’s e-bikes feature a 2-year warranty.
Ans: A standard electric bike battery will last up to 2 to 5 years. Note that the modern Li-ion batteries are rated by 400-1000 charge cycles which means that the greater the number of charge cycles, the longer your electric bike battery can last without affecting the Watt-hour rating.
Ans: Yes, it is possible. In order to recover a dead electric bike battery, all you need to do is either press and hold the power button on the battery or plug it into the charger as soon as possible.
You may like the following electric bike articles:
- Is an Electric Bike Worth It or Not?
- Buying an eBike: What Size Electric Bike Do I Need?
- How Electric Bike Motor Works
- Riding an Electric Bike for the First Time
- How Do Electric Bikes Without Pedals Work?
My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric bikes caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my e-bike. Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric bikes. Check out more.